Dear 2013 Self

So instead of posting my usual 2012 recap at the end of the year, I thought of something different. I thought I’d write myself a letter. Or my future, end-of-2013 self a letter. Remember when I said that letters changed my life this year? Well, I’m holding onto that thing again up to the last few minutes of 2012. I’ve written letters to several people (known and unknown) this year, so this time I am going to write to myself.

I can’t promise that this won’t be dramatic. But like I said a few weeks ago: time to embrace your inner romantic.

Happy new year, everyone. :)

* * *

December 31, 2012

Dear (end-of-2013) Tina,

Hello from your December 31, 2012 self! Happy new year to you, and I hope that the end of 2013 finds you well.

I suppose this is cheating, writing to you in a place where you can easily go back to it and read it. Letters like this are supposed to be kept in time capsules or sent after some time through email from websites that do just that. However, I believe that posting things like this is public is a way to be accountable, and I still have that hope that baring my (our) soul to the world at certain times will also help a fellow soul who needs to read some words to lift themselves up.

I really, really hope that 2013 was good for you, for us. Whether it was a good year or bad, I know that you will be looking forward to 2014, just as you always do. You have always liked something new, and you have always appreciated having a fresh start. If it wasn’t such a good 2013, then I hope that you will find the strength to move on and start anew, and if it was a good 2013 (oh, I hope it was!), then I hope you will find the grace to let go of the past and look forward to the future.

And because I kind of want to avoid rambling, five things your past self would want you to remember as you go into another new year.

1. Don’t be afraid to explore. 2013 was the year I promised to venture out of our comfort zones, and I really hope that we did that this year. I hope that the coming year will be the another year of exploration — of new places, new things, new experiences. Go out and do things that you’ve never done before, the things that your values and faith will allow you to do, because if you don’t do it now, then when?

Image from we heart it
Image from we heart it

2. Keep calm. Oh, I know you will panic. Sometimes, we like doing this, but you know it’s not good for us. Remember to be still, keep calm, and don’t forget that everything will be okay. Trust the words, trust what you know and take things as they are — more often than not, the things that worry you are really just things that don’t matter in the end. So whenever you feel panicked, just take a deep breath and keep calm. Remember what a good friend told you in 2012: patience and stillness are weapons of a brave heart.

3. Reach out. In 2013, I hope you reached out to the people who need your help, and that you learn to become more generous. God has never failed to provide for you, so may you share these blessings to everyone who need them the most. Spend time and build relationships to the people you care for. We were always good at that, and I am sure you can remember all the fun times that 2012 had. Remember that the world doesn’t revolve around you, but also remember that your world does not have to revolve around someone else’s. You all live in the same world, anyway, so all you need to do is reach out.

4. Love freely and fiercely. Last year, I learned that it is better to be vulnerable than to be guarded. I hope that in 2013, we both loved freely, even more than I did in 2012. And I hope that as the year ends, you are not too tired of loving. It will hurt, you will get hurt and you will hurt the people you love and that will hurt the most. But believe that love is strong enough to heal those hurts, and that your heart is strong enough to take these blows. And I hope that you loved fiercely, and will not get tired of loving fiercely, because love is not timid. Love is a force to be reckoned with. It can change the world, if you let it. :)

Remember to be gracious. People will annoy you, disappoint you, and you may lose faith in so many of them, but remember to be gracious because everyone needs grace. And if you feel annoyed and disappointed in yourself, when you feel you’re at the verge of losing yourself in the fast life you will live in, remember to be gracious to yourself too. Because you need it just as much as others do.

Don’t forget to allow yourself to be loved. You are loved. When you don’t feel like it, remember: you are loved. Keep calm and remember that you are loved. :)

5. Be brave. And finally, be brave. I decided to own our word for 2013 last night, even if it scares me silly. It scares me so much that I wish I could choose another word for us, but I feel like I’m cheating on us if I do that. I know that there will be so many times that we will be scared, that you feel like the word we chose is not the right word, but hold fast. We can face it, and we can fight it, because we are made of stronger, tougher stuff.

Image from we heart it
Image from we heart it

But you don’t always have to fight. Sometimes, the bravest thing to do is to let it go, and surrender. It’s okay, and don’t feel bad when you get to that point. When things are not going your way, or when things are hard to understand, remember your most valuable lesson in 2012: trust. Trust that God sees and knows, and He has everything under control. It will all be okay.

I pray that you will be brave enough to say the things that you need to say, and know the times when you need to say it. I pray for the wisdom to know when to move and to let things be. I pray that you will not be scared to open your heart, to love and be loved. I pray for pure intentions for us, and the courage to be intentional at all times. I believe God blesses us when we move forward with clear and pure intentions, and I pray that you will always stand up for these things and not cower under the fear of embarrassment or rejection. Be brave, be brave. You are made of stronger, tougher stuff. Remember that.

I have less than 12 hours left for the last day of 2012. I am pretty sure you’ll get back to this every now and then in 2013, and no one is stopping you to do it. But remember that I am also days/weeks/months younger than you and you are (and will be) wiser than I am now. I’m sure I missed several important things, but I trust you will find out about them on your own. And I trust that you will make it through — scratched and bruised, probably, but you will get through. :) I believe in you. I believe in us. :)

Happy new year. :)

(End-of-2012) Tina

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